Make the most of the holiday season and spend quality time with your loved ones with our family advent ideas.
It’s that time of year again when we are all getting ready for the holidays. As a Christian family, December 1st marks the beginning of Advent for us. Literally, the word Advent means ‘coming’, and the entire month is dedicated to preparing in anticipation for Christmas. That can mean different things to different people.
My Special Advent Segment on CJAD Radio
I was recently on air to chat with Natasha Hall on CJAD radio about Advent ideas, calendars, and her pet peeve…that elf. It was a lot of fun to give my thoughts on these subjects and ideas on how to celebrate Advent as a family.
Here is the segment. Have a listen:
My Family’s Favourite Advent Calendars
I had never tried this decadent chocolate until this year, so when I found out there was an Advent calendar that had four (yes, four!) chocolates in each door, I was SO excited! Having one delicious calendar for us all instead of mediocre chocolates from the pharmacy is amazing. And if you think it’s too expensive, it’s not. At $34.49, a large family like mine gets to have really good chocolate and everyone gets a piece! OK, my husband and I will have to share, but I’m ok with that.
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We have had a few Lego Advent calendars over the years, and this is brand new one. Instead of making a themed scene, this Christmas calendar has 24 doors that hold many mini toys to build. This is fun because each day is something the create and later can be added to your Lego collection. I love seeing my boys learn to share with this calendar because I know they all loved building but encourages them to take turns.
Reverse Advent Calendar
If you really want to bring back to spirit of Christmas, this is the way to do it. If you don’t have a basket, use a cardboard box and wrap it with wrapping paper so it’s a nice thing to look at, and easy to remember to add in every day. Reach out to your community to see where you can donate ahead of time.
There are a ton of ideas on Pinterest that I have pulled from, but some are downright unrealistic. But to make it easy, put together a small box or jar with written pieces of paper. Each paper can hold an activity for the day. Like I mentioned to Kelly, they can be simple! The important thing to remember is that every activity, big or small, can be done as a family. And of course, if one thing you choose doesn’t work for your day (other commitments, etc.) pick something else for the day and put that one back. This year, my boys made their own little decorated box and wrote their own activities. It’s awesome.
Family Advent Ideas For You To Try This Holiday Season
Take a look at these family advent ideas and see which ones would be best for you and your loved ones! I’ve included a list of ideas here:
- Make hot cocoa together
- Go to a local farm to pick a Christmas tree
- Read a Christmas book
- Go for a walk after dinner
- Deliver baked goods to your neighbour
- Surprise your delivery person with a small gift
- Donate clothes to your local shelter
- Prep your car with care packages to hand out to homeless
- Go Christmas shopping for local families in need
- Make some baked goodies
- Donate one toy to a local drop-off
- Have breakfast for dinner!
- Donate old books to a mini library in your area
- Write a holiday card to a friend and mail it
- Have a friend over for dinner
- See a local Christmas concert
- Build a snowman!
- Go skating together
- Play a board game
- Decorate your Christmas tree
- Write a letter to your family (with one compliment for each member)
- Make your teacher a gift
- Donate to a food drive (and deliver it)
- Talk about what you are thankful for this year
- Listen to Christmas music
- Go sledding
- Take photos together with a fun holiday filter (and send it to family!)
- Build a gingerbread house
- Shop at a Christmas fair
- Craft a new handmade ornament
- Watch old home videos from Christmases past
- Take a drive to see holiday decorations
- Make paper snowflakes
- Video call family far away
In school, we would colour a religious calendar with different references to the story of the Nativity, and different activities were suggested to give to others and show kindness. Now, we have many calendars going and fun treats each day, but the main point is love and kindness.
More About Advent
On Sundays, we light our Advent wreath and say a special prayer. If you are not familiar, there are four candles we light during Advent. There are three purple candles, one pink and some place one white in the middle for Christmas Eve and Day. Each Sunday, represents something.
- The wreath is made of evergreen representing eternal life.
- The first Sunday symbolizes HOPE for the coming of Jesus.
- The second Sunday symbolizes FAITH in the journey to Bethlehem.
- The third Sunday (pink candle) symbolizes JOY brought to the people from baby Jesus.
- The fourth Sunday symbolizes Peace on earth, good will toward men.
Our Christmas begins on Christmas Eve and lasts until January 6th, the Epiphany, or the day of the Magi (the three wise men). That is why many people keep their decorations up until the 7th.
Something I didn’t mention on the air was the showstopper I got this year.
Disney – I have been eyeing this Advent calendar for exactly three years. So, when it went on sale on Cyber Monday, I called a Canadian Disney Store and had it shipped over pronto. My boys are majorly surprised with this one because they don’t even know it existed and they love small plush toys. Definitely on the high end (and why I waited years), the regular price for this calendar is $130 but I purchased it at $103. I consider these plush Disney characters to be a Christmas present themselves and it will add to their collections. It’s pretty adorable to see their faces when they open up each day.
I’m sharing a lot of Advent on Instagram in my stories. Be sure to follow along there and see our boxes open and activities read!
Happy Advent everyone!
Oh, and if you want to laugh about that elf a little more, read this short post of mine 😉.
More Holiday Blog Posts
For more holiday inspiration, be sure to check out these articles: